Saturday, 5 April 2014

Princess Anne says badgers should be gassed

April 2014: This Sunday (April 6) the Radio Times has reported that HRH Princess Anne will make controversial statements regarding England’s badger cull in the BBC Countryfile programme. The magazine says that the Princess Royal will say she supports gassing as a way of killing badgers 

Mark Jones, veterinary surgeon and executive director of Humane Society International UK, said: 

“It is extremely disappointing that a prominent member of the royal family should endorse the gassing of a supposedly protected indigenous wild mammal.

"Gassing experiments carried out at Porton Down in the early 1980s were abandoned because of the appalling levels of suffering to which the badgers were exposed. Lethal concentrations of gases in complex badger sets are difficult to achieve, making sub-lethal exposure and associated suffering highly likely. Any attempt to reintroduce gassing would doubtless result in a slow and painful death for many badgers, and potentially other non-target animals.

“Moreover, the government’s own figures clearly show that badgers don’t need to be culled to halt the spread of bovine tuberculosis. In Wales, the reintroduction of annual cattle testing and other cattle-based measures resulted in a 48 percent reduction in the number of cattle slaughtered because of bovine TB over a four-year period, in the absence of any badger culling. Princess Anne should be better informed before making public statements on such controversial and divisive issues.”

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